The meeting among Government and localities on Friday sought solutions for issues in business and production, speeding up disbursement of public investment, and policies to support people amid the COVID-19 crisis.— VNA/VNS Photo Thống Nhất
HÀ NỘI — Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc asked for prompt actions right now to kickstart economic revival while Việt Nam is making great efforts in fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking at an online meeting between Government leaders and localities on Friday, he said that Việt Nam would have more robust policies to revive the country's economy that had been hit hard by the disease, seeing thousands of companies shutting down and downturns in almost every industry.
Việt Nam’s gross domestic product (GDP) in this year’s first quarter saw a growth of 3.82 per cent, the lowest rate since 2011. The COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a blow on every economic sector, especially tourism, aviation, transportation, industrial production, agriculture and consumption.
The PM said that the Government will soon, possibly in the coming days, issue comprehensive resolutions with drastic measures to solve difficulties for business and production and revive the economy after the pandemic.
The meeting’s agenda focused on solutions for issues including those to tackle difficulties in business and production, those to speed up disbursement of public investment, policies to support people and ensure social welfare, social order and security amid the COVID-19 crisis.
The pandemic has caused serious consequences for the global economy and most of Việt Nam’s major economic partners were badly affected, with some even facing economic slowdowns, Phúc said, adding that compared with the 2008-2009 financial crisis, this COVID-19 crisis is bringing the world more difficulties.
“A global shock or a global recession will happen if the disease continues spreading,” Phúc said, adding that the situation posed Việt Nam an urgent task.
“Without measures to maintain usual socio-economic activities and revive business and production, the country could face serious problems, even social instability,” Phúc said.
“Without strong, drastic measures, our economy will become vulnerable to collapse and witness a negative growth rate,” he said.
The PM stressed that the top priority at this time was to prevent the disease from spreading and properly control it.
Then, the PM asked ministries, agencies and localities to make practical moves creating favourable conditions for people and business to develop. For example, further administrative reforms, promoted the role of economic engines, economic hubs, major corporations and banks or key economic regions in ensuring the macro-economy.
The PM also asked for effective implementation of the new social welfare support package worth VNĐ62 trillion (US$2.6 billion) to support people and business most affected by COVID-9.
Besides the newly-approved relief package, Việt Nam already implemented a monetary package worth VNĐ30 trillion offering business incentive loans or reducing interest rates for both old and new loans.
Another fiscal package worth VNĐ180 trillion offers businesses a tax break and tax postponement during this tough time.
Phúc also asked for disbursement of nearly VNĐ700 trillion ($30 billion) by year’s end, particularly disbursement for key transport projects like Bắc-Nam Expressway, Trug Lương-Cần Thơ Expressway and Long Thành International Airport.
Minister of Planning and Investment Nguyễn Chí Dũng said that speeding up disbursement, particularly in public investment, was an effective solution to boost economic growth amid COVID-19. Economists and institutions recommended the solution.
He said that it was necessary now to review existing regulations on the State budget, investment, decentralisation and administrative procedures as well as regulations on public debts and State overspending. Any regulations that do not match the current situation or cause difficulties should be fixed soon.
Minister of Finance Đinh Tiến Dũng said disbursement of nearly VNĐ700 trillion this year was the result of "hard work." The amount is 2.2 times higher than that of last year.
He said the Finance Ministry would speed up the disbursement and closely watch the implementation of projects, asking contractors to carry out their projects as soon as the bidding and disbursement are completed.
“Investment for ineffective or slow-moving projects will be withdrawn and transferred to other urgent projects,” Dũng said.
Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Đào Ngọc Dung said at the meeting that non-contracted workers were among those most affected by the disease, but it was difficult to verify them.
Dung said that thanks to experiences of Hà Nội, HCM City and some provinces, the labour ministry proposed that they should receive Government support from ward/commune People’s Committees in their hometown or in places they reside as long as they were verified by the authority of the place they are living.
The ministry proposed support for non-contracted workers like vendors, porters, motorbike-taxi drivers, lottery sellers, and waiters/waitress at food stalls/restaurants. Localities can have their own support for such people too.
Vương Đình Huệ, Secretary of Hà Nội Party Committee said that the city would try its best to achieve its growth scenario and minimise the negative impacts of COVID-19.
The city targeted to record economic growth higher than the national rate and balance its budget.
In terms of public investment, the city planned to establish special teams to detect problems of projects. Now, 84 new projects have been commenced in the city, of which, 30 projects received disbursement while the other projects have completed investment procedures, selected contractors, which made them ready for disbursement.
HCM City People’s Committee Chairman Nguyễn Thành Phong said that the city was making efforts to support business, particularly small- and medium-sized enterprises.
In the last three months, the southern city was speeding up key projects like metro lines No1 and No2, as well as boosting administrative reform and IT application.
The city suggested the Government continue support such as reducing social and health insurance payments and land-use tax for enterprises. —VNS